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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:57 pm 
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Penalty points system hated by taxi drivers is here to stay

A controversial disciplinary scheme for Leicester taxi drivers which saw months of protests by disgruntled cabbies is to be adopted on a permanent basis. The scheme was brought in by the city council for Hackney cabs and private hire taxis on a trial basis in December 2015, with the aim being to improve customer safety and confidence.

A 10-point checklist was drawn up covering a range of standards from the existing code of conduct which taxi drivers are expected to meet. They include the use of roadworthy vehicles, not parking illegally, always wearing identification badges and using meters to record journeys accurately. Drivers who fail to meet the standards can be given penalty points on their licences, with drivers who accumulate 12 points in three years subject to a review of their suitability to hold a taxi licence.

The 325-driver RMT union fought the scheme and staged a number of pre-Christmas go-slow processions through the city centre, causing rush-hour chaos and infuriating drivers. The union feared its members might lose their livelihoods over minor misdemeanours.

A city council spokeswoman said of the latest development: “We have decided to make the scheme permanent after the majority of members of the public supported the scheme in a consultation.” So far, 165 penalty points have been issued – on 144 occasions – to drivers deemed to have failed to meet the code of conduct standards.

City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said the decision to adopt the new scheme was based on the success of the pilot. He said: “When we first launched this trial nearly 20 months ago, I said I would see how it progressed and make a decision based on that. “It’s clear that passengers do support the use of such a scheme, even if taxi drivers do not, and I see no reason to put an end to it.”

He added: “The penalty points scheme actually simplifies the process of dealing with drivers who do flout the law, or fail to meet the expected standards, which helps safeguard passengers and also ensures taxi drivers are clear what is expected of them.”

The 165 points issued so far by the council have covered offences including parking inappropriately in restricted areas, failing to attend compulsory vehicle safety checks, driving unroadworthy vehicles, failure to wear a badge and failing to display proper taxi licensing plates or signs.

The council said its officers would continue to work to streamline how the penalty point scheme is operated. A spokesman said: “One possible change would be to allow licensing enforcement officers to issue penalty points directly to taxi drivers breaching the code of conduct, rather than having drivers attend a hearing to argue their case before points are issued. “Drivers would still be able to contest the points through the council’s complaints procedure.”

The decision to make the scheme permanent follows a public consultation held in December 2016 and January 2017, which was open to passengers, taxi drivers and all members of the public. Of more than 200 people who responded, 112 (55 per cent) supported the use of the taxi penalty point scheme, with just under 35 per cent opposing it.

Of those of who supported the scheme, 86 per cent were members of the public, while 69 per cent of opponents were Hackney carriage or private hire drivers or operators.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:29 pm 
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I'm all for these points.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:41 am 
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Location: Stamford Britains prettiest town till SKDC ruined it
The trouble is they are used to punish simple mistakes not serious wrongdoing

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:10 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
The trouble is they are used to punish simple mistakes not serious wrongdoing

The argument is the serious stuff should be dealt with by the courts.

It makes no sense dealing with the less serious stuff in the courts.

My concern is that the serious stuff is often downgraded to the less serious stuff because it's easier to deal with.

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